Use of Gloss Meters in Manufacturing Processes

Gloss MeterGloss meters are instruments used to measure the specular reflection gloss of surfaces. They determine gloss by projecting light of fixed intensity and at a particular angle onto a material’s surface and measure the intensity of reflected light. They are used by various industries ranging from automotive to paper mills. They are used in every stage of a manufacturing process from reception through to the final inspection.

Almost all industries use gloss meters to ensure the products they manufacture are of high quality. Several studies have shown that gloss levels of products have equal psychological effects on consumers as their colour. Many products are made with combinations of matte finishes and high gloss as an attempt to maximize their appeal to customers. The automotive industry, for example, emphasizes on quality products with high colour and gloss levels to maximize their appeal to customers. The gloss levels vary from soft internal plastics to mirror finish chrome parts. Car manufactures have a challenge of achieving feeling of high value while at the same time minimizing their expenses.

For paints and coatings, gloss is controlled from their formulation. They are checked during their manufacture and application periods. Any changes on the gloss levels of the paints anywhere between the two periods can have significant visual differences on the end-products that reach consumers. Coatings and paintings are controlled using a 600 angle geometry, but with a 200 and 850 angles for high gloss.

In the furniture industry, gloss meters are also of benefit. Furniture requires painting, coating, vanishing and staining. During all these processes, it is necessary to control their gloss levels for batch consistency. Applying coats, for example, requires attention to ensure it dries correctly. Gloss meters provide early warnings of formulation problems in coatings by checking how it cures or the amount applied.

Gloss meters are also of use in plastic, printing and metal finishing industries. They are indispensable tools that are of benefit to all industries.